Voice of Kibera

From Map Kibera

Jump to: navigation, search


Voice of Kibera

Voice of Kibera is a citizen reporting project based in Kibera, Nairobi. The project is an initiative of Map Kibera and uses the Ushahidi platform to aggregate and map reports.

Voice of Kibera aims to give collective global voice to Kibera residents by aggregating local citizen reports, Kibera community media and other relevant news and information. In partnership with various local organizations, the Map Kibera team (http://mapkibera.org/) launched Voice of Kibera to visualize reporting in and about Kibera, one of the largest slums in Africa. Voice of Kibera has been actively engaged with the community and has formed an Editorial/Advisory Board comprised of representatives from KCODA, Hot Sun Foundation, Kibera Mpira Mtaani, Mchanganyiko Women Self Help Group, Kibera Community Youth Programme, Map Kibera, and Ushahidi.

Voice of Kibera Focus Groups

Handout Introducing Voice of Kibera

File:Voice of Kibera handout final.doc

First Voice of Kibera Focus group held on 23rd April 2010 with participants from: Vision Africa, Kibera Community Youth Programme, Kibera Mpira Mtaani, Global Giving, Hot Sun Foundation/Kibera Film School, KCODA/Kibera Journal, Map Kibera, SIT Study Abroad Program, and Mchanganyiko Women's Group

Workshop Agenda

  • Introductions
  • Overview of Map Kibera
  • Overview of Voice of Kibera
  • Demonstration of Voice of Kibera
  • Small group site testing and discussion
  • Reconvene for feedback in large group
  • Closing

Presentation available on slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/mapkibera/voice-of-kibera-focus-group-presentation


Feedback from Demonstration of Voice of Kibera:

How is SMS currently being used?

  • KCODA governance project, reporting on corruption using SMS
  • Think about how you would use SMS in Kibera?
  • Website demonstration
  • Twitter demonstration – description of Twitter and discussion about what twitter is
  • Question from participant: How do you set up a Twitter account?
  • Showing recent reports
  • Showing website Tabs: “Contact us”, “About us”
  • Showing admin side – demo of Brian's text message to 3002 – demonstration of how to create and approve reports, editing spelling, capitalization, adding categories, geolocating Mchanginyiko women's hall as the location, verifying
  • Can reply to SMS or call to gather more information
  • Question: how would you call back? Using personal phone?
  • Yes, site admin could call back b/c would likely be given credit. When short code 3002
  • What about Pamoja FM? Would have information by accessing the website or email alerts
  • What if SMS taken long to approve and add to site? - what about a way to send them directly to pamoja directly right after the SMS is approved on email shouldn't usually sit for more than a few hours because should have a dedicated site administrator; someone at Pamoja could be a site administrator, a way for Pamoja to deal with the site directly or could get email alerts
  • Pamoja FM could have verification over radio, ask listeners
  • anonymity of reporting ppl, would have to have a strict agreement and policy about identiy of ppl sending in sensitive information
  • Participant: as a person who works with the media, we know that reporters are responsible to verify a story before reporting, journalism ethics, could be implicated as a Media House if you report on something that is not verified
  • Better way of doing it would be if you get a message about an incident, call somebody who is a correpsondant to confirm what is happening, from the confirmation you can go ahead and be confident to publish – have ppl on the ground
  • Ppl doing admin would have to do their best to verify the stories before approving if it's sensitive information
  • Crowdsourcing technology
  • People will likely send information that is impt to them b/c they are paying for it
  • Could be hate messages? hate messages – how to deal with this type of information?
  • would never post hate messages, have to develop the policy about dealing with hate messages or other sensitive information
  • Saving messages and forwarding them to responding agencies (ie. Police, Child protection workers, CBOs, etc.)
  • Technology is neutral but uses are not
  • Participant: Idea, sit down and start small with members, groups sit with us and have key correspondants from organizations who are partners, worried about anybody sending information
  • Can pre-approve trusted sources, and build up trusted sources over time if ppl are always sending in good reports (crowdsourcing)
  • Roots of Ushahidi – post-election violence, verified and unverified information, verify using network, different view than what was being reported by media, near real-time reporting, allows you to collect information from all different sources
  • To what extent are ppl's opinions valuable in and of themselves? Over time the opinions will give you a better picture about what's happening, but need fair ethical administrators and community members to decide when to follow up with a report
  • People looking at the information should take into account there are other sources of information coming in (news, video, photos) – SMS allows for interaction- disagreeing, discussing, to get a more balanced view of what is happening
  • Participant: what you are saying is right. When information is not, you might be in a position to get back to the person and get it right. Need admins of sound mind, intelligent, who are understanding what is happening in Kibera. Must have a healthy network.
  • Question: sms at the normal rate? Sometime back sent an SMS at 10 bob? What happens?
  • System is new. Changed something but Safaricom was charging for a reply back, Safaricom are meeting with our partnersto make sure it's the price of a normal SMS. What's the ideal price? If it's free we might get a lot spam

Feedback from small group discussions:

Josh’s group

  • Groups that use video already: How will they give it out to the community?
  • Posting to the site will take a long time to upload because of bandwidth
  • Radio is very important
  • Time between reporting and broadcasting has to be short
  • Time and cost factors
  • Setting up video houses to distribute information
  • Information and video that come to VoK can be shown and distributed through community screenings
  • SMS- very cheap and convenient, and can reach everyone
  • Question of cost; if it’s too high then nobody will come, but if it’s cheap it will be better because people will engage with the platform
  • Go to cybers and ask them to put Voice of Kibera as homepage so that people will see it right away
  • Introducing site to organisations and youth groups in Kibera so it will spread quickly through word of mouth
  • Social media tools: using facebook to post the link and to create profile of Voice of Kibera to “friend” people and build network

Jamie’s group

  • People don’t understand Twitter very well, but understand Facebook more
  • Incorporating Facebook into the site because it is used and known
  • Kibera is not an island but when you look at the site you just see Kibera not the rest of Nairobi (context for Kibera. People from Kibera hold events outside Kibera, so need the wider Nairobi as well.
  • Content: forming an editorial board with members that are well versed in different fields and knowledgeable so that they can look at the information—can improve credibility
  • Get material on the web about Kibera so that lots is known about the community
  • Embracing technology because pen and paper may become obsolete
  • Incorporating strong networks; need to continue to connect with people from other fields to improve content
  • SMS: normal rate or lower, but not free
  • Job unemployment: a way to introduce employment opportunities; posting job listings and notices and advertisements
  • At first glance, they didn't understand the idea of submitting a report until it was explained. Now it's easy to understand but worried for the people who didn't get the training
  • People in Kibera have been doing things, but they go unnoticed, so this site provides a platform to make it known.
  • If an administrator approves an SMS, they should provide a feedback or acknowledgement through reply SMS.

Erica’s group

  • Homepage is very good
  • It has concepts that we can easily grasp
  • Still questions about Twitter
  • Kibera is heavily populated with many activities
  • Improving the map icons and information on the map to more accurately represent Kibera
  • Getting key groups on board with the project
  • SMS- good communication channel which can be used for sending out reports and keeping site interactive as possible
  • A lot of people use SMS so it will be very useful for updates
  • Important to get the cost situation settled
  • Promoting the site and making it effective
  • Using group leaders from various organisations
  • Harnessing the central journalism groups (Pamoja and Kibera Journal), but realizing that e-world allows anyone to be a journalist
  • SMS, Facebook- let’s use them!
  • Media houses to spread info about the site and how to access it
  • Posters for publicity
  • Spread the site around
  • Working with local groups, especially through forums in the community

Establishing an Editorial Board

Attendees at the focus group suggested forming a Voice of Kibera advisory board to handle the site administration. We're planning to hold a meeting in the coming weeks to discuss this issue further with participants from the focus group and others from local organizations. Ideally, the editorial board will be responsible for managing the site, which involves creating reports from SMS and approving reports submitted via the web form.

Second Workshop

The second Voice of Kibera workshop is scheduled for July 14, 2010 at Mchanganyiko Hall, Karanja, Kibera.

File:VoK focus group 2v2.ppt

Voice of Kibera Editorial Board

As of May 12th, We've had two meetings of the Editorial Board and have established site administrators, responsible for approving and creating reports, as well as SMS Reporters, responsible for sending in reports via SMS.

Over the past month we've established a regular meeting schedule for the Editorial Board and we're planning the way forward in terms of promotion of the short code (3002) and partnerships.

Voice of Kibera Basic Admin Manual

File:Vok approval.pdf

Voice of Kibera Meeting Notes

First Conceptual Meeting, May 7, 2010

What would they report? And what would you go to the site to look for?

Needs Job posting Opportunities As a general bulletin board

Editorial Board

  • Terms of Reference
  • Technical training
  • KCYP, Kibera Mpira Mtaani, Hot Sun Foundation, KCODA/Kibera Journal, Pamoja, Kibera Worldwide, Mchanganyiko, Map Kibera (Need reps from Pamoja and KW?)
  • Set up meeting with interested people for backend training and another conceptual meeting

May 11, 2010 Meeting (notes from email to group)

Schedule for who is responsible for approving reports on which days:

  • Monday- Josphat
  • Tuesday- Sande
  • Wednesday- Douglas/Josphat
  • Thursday- Douglas/Sande
  • Friday- Josphat
  • Saturday- Sande
  • Sunday- Melissa/Erica

When you're doing approvals, if the map is messed up, use this Latitude/Longitude to get you started:

-1.313738 (lat) 36.78798 (long)

Remember that if you hit save after imputing the lat/long it will load the map properly and you can complete the report.

For the "SMS Reporters" Fredrick and Jeremiah, we can add you as site administrators to so that you can access the admin side but at this stage your main task is sending in SMS reports. We are working out a plan to reimburse you for the reports you send in through Sambaza. I will follow up on this shortly, but the main idea is that at the end of each week, we can send you credit for the reports you have sent.

At the next meeting, we need to discuss possible changes to the site, the job postings, publicity, and how to act on reports that require follow up. In the meantime, Erica and I will work to get the technical issues sorted out.

May 24, 2010 Meeting

May 31, 2010 Meeting

  • Using VoK to promote Kibera tourism/organizing tours where people donate money to different organizations
  • Josh: GG postcards example- incorporating something like this on Voice
  • Linking outside people with an interest in Kibera organizations/projects with the actual projects
  • Erica: NGO directory and linking to Sande’s idea
  • KCODA’s tours as another example
  • More global outreach through organizational pages, perhaps
  • Kibera Good Gov Festival

-What’s the event all about?

-What can we tell people at this event?

-We need fliers to distribute

-Important to start linking media houses with site

-Promoting the site at the GG and offering a prize for best SMS related to good governance in Kibera (contest open until Friday); prize = 500KSH

  • GBV and short code (Josh)
  • Community monitors- trying to collaborate
  • Other networks that can be partners for VoK

To Do:

  • Editing About Us to represent the partners
  • Editing site to include short code, proper partners/collaborators?
  • Editorial Board page isn’t working—just showing the About Us page when you click on the Tab [Technical Issue]
  • Cyber cafes and getting the Voice of Kibera as homepage
  • Recruiting a VoK intern and programmer
  • Business directory and job postings

TASKS for the week: Contact folks from different networks to see if they’re interested in collaborating with Voice of Kibera

-Douglas: education

-Jeremiah: theatre/economic empowerment

-Fredrick: health

-Sande: peace

-Vincent: sports

June 7, 2010 Meeting (notes from email to group)

Summary of key points from meeting:

1) Erica is in the process of contacting Pamoja FM. We're hoping to set a meeting with them for Thursday afternoon. Vincent and Sande have agreed to attend. We will confirm once the meeting has been set.

2) After Pamoja, we need to think about other media to contact. Some of you mentioned contacts that you have so we should think about a strategy for approaching these organisations.

3) Everyone is tasked with talking about Voice of Kibera with their various networks so we can figure out the best way forward with potential partners. Each of you mentioned organisations and networks that you are in touch with so please by our next meeting, make sure to discuss with them. Erica will provide some fliers for distribution to these people and groups. If you were not at the meeting, please think about who you could contact about working with Voice of Kibera.

4) Continue sending in reports and approving them for the site! Everyone has done a great job with this. Like we said yesterday, we want to be up-to-date so that others see the value in coming to the site, particularly a group like Pamoja FM.

July 5th, 2010 @ KCODA

Attendance: Jamie, Erica, Melissa, Douglas, Jerry, Josephat, Sande, Fredrick

1.Cyber (internet & home page)

  • Internet – normal rate for 5 ppl per month 3100, each can pay 1000 each unlimited for one month
  • Cost 3000 for 3 ppl unlimited and the other 3 limit of 3 hours per day for browsing between 11-4pm
  • Home page – 1000 per month for 5 computers
  • or 1000 for 3 ppl and we agree who can come when
  • Sande all day, Jerry in the evening, Josephat only on Sunday's, Fred would use it a lot, Douglas 2-3 hours a day, Vincent a few hours a day
  • For 1500 shillings, what can we get? 3 Hours per day for everyone – can we check tomorrow? Jerry, Erica, Melissa
  • Resource Centre – Douglas's contact to put as a Homepage

2.Focus group – engaging new SMS reporters through the focus group

  • July 14th 2pm-5pm – Jerry will book Mchanganyiko hall – presentation can be edited, will bring computers and modems – small groups led by the Advisory Board, each can invited 1-5
  • give out 50-100 shillings as an incentive to submit – pick up their phone numbers; engage workshop – can report on anything that happens in their village
  • Need ppl from the other side to come so we have ppl from the Eastern side
  • Check the site to see which villages are not receiving messages so we can have more reports from those areas
  • Staged process for engagement with Voice of Kibera
  • Next Monday logistics for focus group on the 14th July
  • Meeting every Monday at 3pm
  • Structure for the advisory board?
  • Erica to leave laptops with Jamie for workshop


  • tagging onto an existing event? That activity might end up overshadowing the event – lose the purpose
  • Strategy meeting for July 19th All are welcome. Will confirm time and location will be iHub in Bishop Maragua building across from Uchumi Hyper
  • ICT new media conference. Douglas has the info about this event.
  • Board members to ask for donations for microphone, location, etc
  • Date to be announced.


  • New twitter account for Voice of Kibera @VoiceofKibera
  • Jamie to turn off email alerts for Twitter

5.Blog post on Advisory Board - and use it for the about us section on the site

  • Jamie to send everyone an email with questions for the blog post.

6.Adding another tab to the website for volunteer opportunities, job opportunities, directory

  • Comment page / message board
  • Set up Google Analytics
  • Put the Short Code on the website
  • Tagline is currently Community media: sharing a voice for change. We should brainstorm a new one. Any suggestions are welcome

Monday July 12, KCODA 

Attendance: Evans (representing Joesphat), Douglas, Fred, Sande, Josh, Jamie, Melissa

1. Ushahidi 101, Tuesday July 13 at the iHub at 5:30
• Melissa would like to have some of the Editorial Board come to the Ushahidi 101 and give feedback on VoK experience
• Douglas, Sande to attend

2. Voice of Kibera Workshop July 14th
• Who can come: Douglas, Sande, Fredrick, Evans to ask Josephat
• 2pm start at Mchanganyiko – Jamie to call Vincent to confirm his attendance
i. Invitees thus far:
1. 20 from watsan, security networks
2. 2 emails sent out to schools network
3. GBV network (21)
4. Health: MSF Belgium, AMREF
5. Sande to invite Peacenet ppl and Juma
6. Caleb? Fist to 5 facilitator – Melissa has his contact
• Agenda for the meeting
i. General introductions- Fred
ii. Map Kibera Introduction– Douglas
iii. Voice of Kibera project introduction – Sande
iv. Intro to Ushahidi – Jamie
v. What is SMS reporting - Fredrick

3. Apps4Africa
• ideas, SMS tools, internet websites, anything for computers or phones, bringing technology ppl together
• Melissa sent around Apps 4 Africa link to Editorial board
• Need more information on availability of mobile phones and accessibility of browsing in Kibera
• Ideas:
i. Web browser for china phones (bootleg phones or symbian phones)
ii. Innovate for basic Nokia phone
iii. Sim card for more than 1 phone number or basic dual sim phone
iv. Library software – app for your phone for checking library books
• There are network coverage issues but can’t be addressed by Apps4Africa contest
• Same phone number across all Network

4. Voice of Kibera website:
• News Feeds – who is responsible?
i. Douglas – Kibera Journal
ii. Josphat – Kibera TV
iii. Kibera News Network – Jamie or Erica
iv. If you have added new items to your website but they are not showing up in the News Feed under “Incoming Media” Click on the link “Manage” then go to “News Feeds” and click “Refresh News Feeds”
• Accessing the internet – problem with Moses at the internet café- he told Jerry and Douglas that they can only come from 8-3pm to access internet, and told Fred between 1-4pm – Sande to speak to Moses about this
• Voice of Kibera as homepage – it’s been there, but loading a bit slowly
• Douglas spoke to CTM (Resource Centre with internet accces) – don’t have a problem with allowing Editorial Board members to use the internet during the day, Douglas to ask about the homepage?

5. Bios for the site:
• Received so far from Douglas, Fredrick and Sande
• Still need Jerry, Josphat, Vincent (send someone for sports, send biography, Wednesday workshop)
• Questions:
i. What is your role in your community (that is, what do you do?)?
ii. How did you hear about Voice of Kibera? Why did you want to get involved?
iii. Tell me one interesting thing about yourself that is not related to the work you do

6. Media meeting July 19th at 9am – 11am at the iHub

Action items:

1. We are meeting at 1pm at Arusha cafe on Karanja Road and Kibera drive TOMORROW for lunch and then we have the Voice of Kibera workshop!

2. Our meeting July 19th will be from 9am - 11am at the iHub off Ngong road to discuss media strategy, instead of in the afternoon at KCODA

3. Send your biography if you have not already (Josphat, Jerry, Vincent)

4. For incoming news reports to the website: Douglas to approve news from Kibera Journal, Josphat to approve from Kibera TV, Jamie or Erica from KNN*
*If you have added new items to your website but they are not showing up in the News Feed under “Incoming Media” Click on the link “Manage” then go to “News Feeds” and click “Refresh News Feeds"

5. Douglas to check with CTM about having the Voice of Kibera site as the home page in their resource centre

6. Sande to check with Moses about the problems he is giving some of the Editorial Board in accessing their internet time.

Media Strategy Meeting July 19

Editorial Board meeting, July 26, 2010 @ KCODA

Attendance: Jamie, Erica, Sande, Gerry, Fred
1. Website and internet access:

  • Still having problem about accessing internet at the café in the evenings
  • Reports on web vs SMS
  • Approving web reports
  • Tagging reports – *print guide and bring it next meeting

2. Care meeting tomorrow at 9am to discuss reporting with Voice of Kibera for the Referendum
3. Meeting with new SMS reporters on Thursday at KCYP – Fred to inquire if we can meet there

  • 2pm to discuss Referendum reporting
  • Gerry can’t attend b/c he’s at CREAW meeting on SGBV

4. Media strategy

  • Web version of Voice of Kibera
  • We should set up a Facebook group for Voice of Kibera
  • MixIT - can you get an alert that you’ve received a message when you are offline? – *when can Dave come and meet with the group?
    • Print out a rough draft of the media strategy
  • Timeline, budget and specific activities
    • Separate day for meeting about the Media Strategy

5. Referendum

  • Editorial Board to act as reporters

6. Next meeting Tuesday August 3rd

File:Media Strategy - VoK.docx

Technical Issues

Voice of Kibera/Technical Issues

Ideas & Questions


  • Add a business directory and an organizational directory of NGOs/CBOs in Kibera.
  • Add job announcement bulletin board.
  • Have roaming mobile reporters on issue areas, representing networks, such as gender based violence. We currently have roaming SMS reporters on general topics.
  • Collaborating with Pamoja FM to publicize the short code and site over the radio as well as providing a news source to them.
  • Add comments/message board
  • Add new page with "Mainstream news" feed
  • Add Flickr stream instead of those static photos for photos tagges "Kibera"

2011 January ideas

1. The vacancy tab we intend to partner with different organizations,and some might be having job opportunities, we will want them advertised/posted on our site to have people access them.we thought it better if we can have a vacancy tab where one can click and access those opportunities.

2. Subscribers database This is where we intend to have a list of contacts of our partners/subscribers.we can send group text through this,for updates,we can have a story that we feel is worth sharing with our subscribers.Its also a way of making them feel part of the process and also encouraging active participation to those who might have given up sending reports,somewhere along the way.

3. Research Tab For income generating,different people allover the world come to kibera for different reasons,including those doing different researches,we can help carry out a research and get paid for that.

4. Actionable Tab We are looking forward to have stories of impacts,and most of them need followups,and one would be optimistic to know what transpired after the highlight.ie,after a sensitive story what action was taken,by who,when and how?


1) Familiarity with platform for their own use (alerts, access to site?)

2) Mobile access: can people find it online? Application to develop – what should come up on there? Maybe database, not map, something simple – where do you live? What’s going on there? Alerts via mobile. Most important info is the data not map. Reach more people by offering info this way. Could compile based on where they live.

3) Info board – LCD or some kind of display. Latest news. Integrate with Kibera Journal – sidebar.

4) Pamoja: aspiring journalists may approach us – to what extent to promote? Can we advertise the shortcode? Interview from Kenyans is more effective – get the guys to do most of the talking on Pamoja.

5) Breakfast show on Citizen – many viewers, not too hard to get on.

6) Keep message simple and not prepared (not read off a sheet)

7) Don’t assume they can access the website: radio, print, etc – link from website to radio. Dedicate a Pamoja bulletin each day – what’s new today?

8) What is newsworthy, how to collaborate with mainstream news sources? Buy in from different parties - like Nation, bloggers. Also are there microblogging possibilities?

9) Preparation for any crisis – how will this be useful?

10) Safeguarding the objective nature of the site – also ethnic balance and perception. Also that it’s for the community and not “taking”. Might want to stress that – it’s for you, not actually from Americans or anything. Non-extractive.

11) Need ambassadors – what can it do for you? Or what has it done, how can it be early warning, something to combat outside perception, etc? Also as a public service.

12) Photography? Many people take photos and may want to upload. How can they add?

13) Approach people personally in an event, take their number, and then even get their message and type in yourself – they can then get a reply thanks for your message.This has worked when general announcements don't.

14) Be specific in what to send – even if different in each event or circumstance – and what will result from the sent message.

15) Acknowledge their message was received (how specific to be on this?)

Branding Ideas

  • Branding keywords*

This brainstorm was to come to a list of keywords of what the branding (especially the VoK logo) needs to communicate and will be used as input for Marten and Evelien to further develop the branding.




mass action









community media


real life Kibera

people talking





railway line





health facilities




no 8


dissemination of information

promotion of freedom of expression


colourful (green, yellow, red, orange,blue)

vibrant, lively

youth, children (young people)

market stall

skin colour

people living in Kibera

flora and fauna

  • Based on the above we concluded:*

1.important elements across the input are: *railway* (possibly related to 'power of the people as in; if we don't like what 'they' (politicians) do we will uproot it again; tool of power), *people* (not just one person, but crowd of people or even representation of all tribes of Kenya; plurality. 2.logo must match the *'Bonga Story Yako' slogan (tell your story)*

Personal tools